Nettru Illaatha Maatram Ennathu( what is this change, that wasnt there yesterday?)

February 3, 2016

The music, the instruments, the lyrics, the lovely voice of Sujatha Mohan, the beauty of Revathi and the scenes she is in…everything comes together in this song. I often think of the late 50’s and 60’s as the heyday of Tamil film music, but songs like this are jewels!

I wonder what happened to this talented singer? I googled for her name, and


is information about her. Haven’t heard of here in a while, though.

Here are the transliterated lyrics:

nEtru illAtha mAttram ennathu? kAttru en kAthil EthO sonnathu! ithu thAn kAdhal enbadhA! iLamai pongivittathA ! idhayam sindhi vittathA! sol manamE….

what is this change, that wasn’t there yesterday? the breeze whispered something in my ear is this what is called love? has youth blossomed? has the heart spilled over? Oh, my heart, tell me…

kadavuL illai endrEn…thAyai kANum varai kanavu illai endrEn…Asai thOndrum varai kAdhal poi endru sonnEn…unnai kANum varai

I said there is no God, until I saw (my) mother I said there are no dreams, until affection appeared I said love was a lie, until I saw you

kavithai variyin suvai, arttham puriyum varai gangai neerin suvai, kadalil sErum varai kadhal suvai ondru thAnE, kAttru veesum varai

the flavour of lines of poetry lasts until one understands the meaning the taste of Ganges water lasts until it meets the sea the flavour of love, alone, lasts until the wind blows (nEttru)

vAnam illAmalE bhUmi uNdAgalAm vArthai illAmalE bhAshai uNdAgalAm kAdhal illAmal pOnAl vAzhkkai uNdAgumA?

earth can be created without the sky language can be created without words if there is no love, can life be created?

vasam illAmalE vaNNa poo pookkalAm vAsal illAmalE kAttru vandhAdalAm nEsam illAtha vAzhvil pAsam uNdAgumA?

colourful flowers can bloom without fragrance the breeze can play without a doorstep (to funnel it in) can there be affection in a life without attachment? (nEttru)

Some of the lines, of course, are prime examples of poetic licence. Eg. “kavithaiyin suvai arttham puriyum varai” (the flavour of poetry lasts until one understands the meaning) certainly doesn’t make rational sense to me!